Problems in the United Rentals 176 on the road course at Watkins Glen International on Saturday derailed playoff hopes for Derek Kraus in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series.
Those issues contributed to a 21st-place finish for Kraus and the McAnally-Hilgemann Racing No. 19 Hunter Nation Toyota Tundra team in the final regular season race.
Kraus knew going into the event that he had to make up a lot of points and that it would most likely take a win to put him into the playoffs. He got off to a strong start, finishing third in Stage 1 of the race and picking up some valuable bonus points. He soon encountered the first of several setbacks, however.
In working his way through the field after pitting for tires and fuel, contact with another truck in a tight section of the track put him off course momentarily and left him with a grill clogged with grass – which led to an unscheduled pit stop and a subsequent speeding penalty.
Kraus battled back to get up to 21st, as Stage 2 concluded on Lap 45. He restarted 28th and was working his way back to the front when he cut down a right front tire and had to pit for repairs. He restarted in 28th, again, with 16 laps to go. He was on the charge when the race came to an end 11 laps early – due to lightning – and registered a 21st-place finish.
Kraus is 13th in the series standings, with seven races remaining on this year’s schedule.
Derek Kraus – Thoughts about the race
Tell us what you encountered in your race today?
“There was a lot of craziness in the beginning of the race. I was able to stay out of that and stay out through the first stage and finish third. Then we had grass on the grill and had to pit and got a speeding penalty, that set us back. Then the race ended short.”
NASCAR Camping World Truck Series Event:
Race: United Rentals 176 (72 Laps) (Race 15 of 22) Aug. 7, 2021
Location: Watkins Glen International, Watkins Glen, N.Y. (2.45-mile road course)
Format: Three Stages; Lap 20 / Lap 45 / Lap 72
No. 19 Hunter Nation Toyota Tundra
Hometown: Stratford, Wis.
Stage 1: 3rd
Stage 2: 21st
Finished: 21st (Running, completed 61 of 61 laps)
Race Winner: Austin Hill
2021 Series Stats:
Races: 15 starts, 2 poles, 1 top five, 4 top 10s
Laps completed: 1,639/1,875
Laps led: 58
Series standings: 13th
WWT Raceway 200 presented by CK Power, Aug. 20, 2021, World Wide Technology Raceway at Gateway, Madison, Ill. (1.25-mile oval).